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Federer bid for Australian Open hots up


Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

World number one Roger Federer sent out an ominous warning to his rivals with the most comfortable of second-round victories over Victor Hanescu at the Australian Open this morning.

Prince William’s arrival at the Rod Laver Arena this morning for the match between Roger Federer and Victor Hanescu caused quite a stir

The Swiss maestro needed only an hour and 39 minutes to claim a convincing 6-2 6-3 6-2 win over the 47th-ranked Romanian.

Not even a late appearance by Prince William, who is on a three-day tour of Australia, at the Rod Laver Arena could overshadow the record Grand Slam winner's victory charge as he marched into the third round.

Federer had been below his best in his opening match against Igor Andreev, when he dropped a set in the first round at a major for the first time in six years, but he immediately looked in the mood as he crashed 20 winners in an opening set that lasted 34 minutes.

The second set was captured in one minute fewer, despite Hanescu managing to grab three games, with the Swiss continuing to pepper the lines with winners.

Federer had already raced into a 3-0 lead in the third set when Prince William arrived, to the applause of the near-capacity 14,000 crowd, just an hour and 15 minutes after the start of the game.

The Prince's schedule has been hectic during his brief tour Down Under and Federer hardly took up much of his time as he quickly wrapped up the match when Hanescu blocked a return long.

“I knew the danger of Victor. He is a good player although maybe he is more accustomed to clay,” Federer said afterwards.

“I am just thrilled to be through.”

Third seed Novak Djokovic overcame Marco Chiudinelli 3-6 6-1 6-1 6-3 today to move into the third round.

Scot Andy Murray Murray is in third round action tomorrow against Frenchman Florent Serra.

The Williams sisters eased into the third round with convincing wins today.

Venus Williams claimed her second consecutive straight sets win to start her Australian Open campaign as she eased past Austria's Sybille Bammer while Serena beat Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-2 6-1.

Venus has never won at Melbourne Park, but after losing just four games in her opening match against Lucie Safarova the sixth seed was again impressive in a 6-2 7-5 victory.

Bammer had only once previously made it past the second round at the Australian Open and never looked like changing that as Williams took control hitting a total of 32 winners compared to just four from her opponent.

Williams will next play the winner of today’s second round match between Australian Casey Dellacqua and Karolina Sprem, neither of whom are seeded, in the last 32.

Two breaks of serve ensured Williams coasted through the opening set as Bammer's cautious approach allowed her to dictate play.

The Austrian, one of three mothers in the main draw along with Kim Clijsters and Rossana De La Rios, clinched a break in the second to take a 3-1 lead, but after failing to take another break-point chance the wheels fell off her challenge.

Williams reeled off the next four games to edge ahead for the first time in the set and then won the final two games to love to seal her passage.

Belfast Telegraph